Pennsylvania hospitals request urgent relief, ask state to cover $500 million in tax payments

Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) –– The Hospital and Health-System Association of Pennsylvania is urging state lawmakers to cover their $500 million in upcoming tax assessment payments.

This as the association estimates state hospitals have lost 40% in revenue during this pandemic. Deadlines for the QCA payments are rapidly approaching in May and June. If medical facilities cannot make their tax assessment payments, which are based on patient revenue, important federal matching dollars will not be made available.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has already taxed Pennsylvania’s hospitals, and now the upcoming assessment payments will only exacerbate a developing financial crisis,” said Andy Carter, CEO and president of HAP. ”We immediately need the state to work with us and cover these payments so hospitals can fight COVID-19 today and carry out the mission of providing care for patients tomorrow.”

HAP is also asking the state to establish a Health Care Coronavirus Emergency Response Fund of $1.5 billion to make sure the commonwealth’s health care providers — hospitals, doctors and nurses, health centers, nursing homes and all providers at the front lines — have the support they need to get through this public health emergency and are there for patients in the tough months of healing ahead.

Finally, HAP and its members seek accelerated payments from commercial insurers and a 20 percent Medicaid rate increase for COVID-19-related treatment.

“Hospitals cannot meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic if they are forced into a financial crisis,” Carter said. “We need Governor Wolf and the General Assembly to work with us and to be thinking of the sustainability of all  Pennsylvania hospitals today and well after this pandemic.”

On Friday, Wolf announced a $450 million loan program for Pennsylvania hospitals. Each hospital would be eligible for a loan of up to $10 million with an interest rate of 0.5%.

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